Lord of the Rings actor Bernard Hill dies aged 79

Bernard Hill, best known for his appearance as King Théoden in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, has died aged 79.

The actor is also known for playing Captain Edward Smith in the Oscar-winning film ‘Titanic’ 

His agent, Lou Coulson confirmed the actor died on May 5, 2024. No cause of death was provided. 

Hill’s finance Alison and son Gabriel were at his side when he passed away. 

Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd, who played the hobbits Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin alongside Hill in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy paid respect to Hill at Comic Con in Liverpool. 

Astin said: “We love him. He was intrepid, he was funny, he was gruff, he was irascible, he was beautiful.”

Boyd recounted watching the trilogy with Monaghan, saying: “I don’t think anyone spoke Tolkien’s words as great as Bernard did. He would break my heart. He will be solely missed.”

Wood posted a statement on X, formerly Twitter, and said “We will never forget you.”

Hill’s breakout role was in the 1982 BBC TV drama ‘Boys from the Blackstuff’ where he played Yosse Hughes, a character who tried to cope with being unemployed in Liverpool. 

Alan Bleasdale, the writer of the show, said Hill’s death was a “great loss and also a great surprise.”

He added: “I was desperate to work with him. Everything he did – his whole procedure for working, the manner in which he worked and his performance was everything that you could ever wish for.

“You always felt that Bernard would live forever. He had a great strength, physically and of personality.”

Kieran Burt

My name is Kieran and I am based in the UK. I love writing about all things science fiction and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Marvel. When I’m not writing or watching anything sci-fi related, you can probably find me exploring the open worlds of alternate lands through my Xbox.

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